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Lavrov to Boris Johnson: Just Try to Bring Russia to Its Knees
Says the Kremlin had no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into Nato was a criminal act
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, said in an interview Thursday that the Kremlin was forced to carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine because there was “no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act.”
Lavrov spoke with the BBC about the fallout from the war, and how Russia has been largely ostracized from the West. He pointed the the UK in particular.
“I don't think there's even room for manoeuvre any more,” Lavrov said. He said both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have both said openly that “we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees.”
“Go on, then, do it!” Lavrov said.
What Was Lavrov Referring to?
Truss and Johnson have been two of the most outspoken critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov may have been referencing Truss’ comment in February when she said she wanted to “degrade” the Russian economy.
"We've now imposed the most severe sanctions that Russia has ever seen, stopping access to vast swathes of the Russian economy, and stopping them build up their armed forces, cutting the Russian economy off at the knees,” she said.
Johnson in May called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crocodile” chewing on Ukraine's leg.
“How can you deal with a crocodile when it's in the middle of eating your left leg?,” Johnson said. “The guy's completely not to be trusted.”
TRENDPOST: As NATO’s first secretary-general put it, NATO was formed in order to keep the Russians out of Western Europe and the Americans in. Instead of disbanding NATO when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Washington dramatically expanded NATO.
In violation of the Reagan-Gorbachev agreements, the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush regimes added constituent parts of the former Soviet empire to NATO—Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
France, taken out of NATO by General de Gaulle, rejoined in April 2009, 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by other nations including Croatia, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
When the Soviet Union broke up, and the U.S. said it would not expand NATO, there were 16 NATO nations. Today there are 30... with some of them on Russia’s borders.
Long forgotten was the U.S. and NATO’S pledge not to expand into Eastern Europe following the deal made during the 1990 negotiations between the West and the Soviet Union over German unification.
Therefore, in the view of Russia, it is taking self-defense actions to protect itself from NATO’s eastward march.